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Garden and Chapel at Blainville

1902
Marcel Duchamp, American (born France), 1887 - 1968

This verdant landscape is one of Marcel Duchamp’s very first paintings, created at the age of fifteen when Impressionism, particularly the work of Claude Monet, captivated the young artist’s imagination. The stone building and steeple glimpsed through a screen of trees are identified on the back of the canvas as “The house where I was born and the church where I was baptized.” Depictions of the natural environment appear throughout Duchamp’s body of work, offering a counterpoint to his better-known mechanical imagery and industrial readymades. The densely wooded background in his final masterpiece, Étant donnés: 1° la chute d'eau, 2° le gaz d'éclairage . . . (1946–66), (1969-41-1, Philadelphia Museum of Art) may refer back to the lush foliage of this scene.


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